Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

We have an opportunity to purchase a GR from two breeders with extremely different pricing. Please point me to the correct post if this is a repetitive post. I apologize in advance.
I have the following questions, I hope someone would kindly give some insight on.

1. Medical: What is the most important thing I need to know about GR puppy when purchasing medical wise? What must the breeder give me and whats important to look for?
2. Illness: Are GR generally prone to hip/back problems and seizures more than most dogs? What age to GR generally live to?
3. Training: There is a costly option to purchase a 1 year old well-trained puppy from a breeder. It's expensive!!!!! Does anyone have insight into relationship with a GR that did not grow up with you for the 1st year, but highly trained?
4. Activity: Are GRs good dogs for camping and going on hikes? Due to hip and back issues is this not the best breed? I really would like a hiking/walking/running companion.
5. Unknown: What is one thing about your GR that you did not expect? One thing you wished you knew before purchasing?

Thank you so much in advance. Have a fantastic day!
Very grateful for this forum and the amazing content and answers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
1. Golden retrievers as a breed are prone to several health issues. Most commonly hip & elbow dysplasia, eye problems, heart problems, sometimes skin problems. Ethical reputable breeders screen breeding stock for all of these issues and should have OFA health clearances as proof that they were tested. If they don't have clearances I would move on.
2. Yes goldens are a breed that are prone to hip (and elbow) dysplasia. Back problems? I'm thinking not so much. Again, good breeders will get their dogs hips and elbows checked by OFA after the dog turns two years old to make sure they have proper joint conformation. Good breeders will not breed dogs who fail clearances. Average age right now I believe 10-12. That is with a proper, diet, exercise and routine wellness care.
3. Training a puppy is VALUABLE bonding time for you and your dog. Goldens want to please and are easy to train provided you enroll them in a good obedience program (not Petco or Petsmart type) with an actual obedience trainer. The cost of enrolling a few training classes with your puppy in the first year of his/her life is remarkably cheaper than buying a "fully trained" older puppy. Even those puppies will need consistent follow through and will test the limits with a new family. Plus, back to the bonding aspect, training is a fun way to get the whole family involved with the training and the dog. You want the dog to listen and respect each family member.

I have friends who purchases a "fully trained" golden retriever. He had never lived in a house before (only a kennel) so when he came home he needed to be retrained to use the bathroom outside. He also had not been well socialized because he was living in a kennel, and only being taken out for training with one person, so he had to learn how to interact with dogs, cats, kids, people. He still struggles with socializing.

4. Yes golden retrievers are wonderful companions and always appreciate a good hike, a swim or a camping trip. They just want to be with you. I would not recommend going for runs (like on pavement) with a golden...the repetitive pounding on hard ground isn't good for their joints. Walking is great, but most goldens I know would rather walk through the woods or on a trail than walk on the sidewalk every day.

5. I did not expect how easy our first puppy was. We were prepared for the worst, and trust me NOT all people's experiences were like mine lol...my next puppy will probably be a terror because I got lucky this time around. But Denver was really easy to potty train and get into a routine. I think he pooped in the house a grand total of 4 times between 8 weeks and 5 months when he was reliably potty trained. He was never overly mouthy (we would "yelp" like a puppy and say "ow! or ouch!" if he bit too hard) so he had a gentle mouth early on. He was also a very chill puppy, and our friends would remark about how calm he was BUT that was largely due to the fact that we exercised him off leash every single day and most days multiple times a day. We live across from a huge soccer complex connected to walking trails and every day we would let him off leash to run around, sniff, fetch, walk, hike up hills etc. We also did two separate obedience classes when he was young and taught him at home too. I think we lived by the saying "a tired puppy is a good puppy".

BTW it would be quicker for you to send us pedigree information on sire and dam of both litters, and we can look @ the and tell you which breeder is a better bet taking all of those things into consideration^
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,218 Posts
I'm going to preface this with saying we just bought our first GR a couple months ago :)

1. OFA health tests: hip, elbows, cardiac via echo, and eyes yearly. I also like to see genetic tests. The dogs should have a file with the OFA that you can search online with their registration number. Keep an eye out for testing going back generations

2. Irresponsible breeding has led to joint issues in a large breed dog. Definitely look for tested parents and make sure to find information on preventing hip dysplasia, there are a lot of sources. And GRs are notorious for cancer. I'm not sure about seizures. Most GRs live to be around 10 years old, but I have no personal experience, other people could answer better.

3. We paid 3000 for our 8 week old puppy. From what I understand, that is a reasonable price for a puppy from fully health tested and shown parents. I've seen in other breeds where trained dogs can sell for anywhere from 5k - 80k. It depends on what you're looking for. I personally do not know if I would want a trained dog.

4. They are great hiking companions. You can't do rigorous activity young to protect hips, but adult dogs make wonderful hiking companions. It's one of the reasons we chose this breed :)

5. I did not expect how mouthy our baby is! I wouldn't change a thing but it was definitely a learning curve for me. He's since grown out of biting us, but it was definitely an experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
1. Golden retrievers as a breed are prone to several health issues. Most commonly hip & elbow dysplasia, eye problems, heart problems, sometimes skin problems. Ethical reputable breeders screen breeding stock for all of these issues and should have OFA health clearances as proof that they were tested. If they don't have clearances I would move on.
2. Yes goldens are a breed that are prone to hip (and elbow) dysplasia. Back problems? I'm thinking not so much. Again, good breeders will get their dogs hips and elbows checked by OFA after the dog turns two years old to make sure they have proper joint conformation. Good breeders will not breed dogs who fail clearances. Average age right now I believe 10-12. That is with a proper, diet, exercise and routine wellness care.
3. Training a puppy is VALUABLE bonding time for you and your dog. Goldens want to please and are easy to train provided you enroll them in a good obedience program (not Petco or Petsmart type) with an actual obedience trainer. The cost of enrolling a few training classes with your puppy in the first year of his/her life is remarkably cheaper than buying a "fully trained" older puppy. Even those puppies will need consistent follow through and will test the limits with a new family. Plus, back to the bonding aspect, training is a fun way to get the whole family involved with the training and the dog. You want the dog to listen and respect each family member.

I have friends who purchases a "fully trained" golden retriever. He had never lived in a house before (only a kennel) so when he came home he needed to be retrained to use the bathroom outside. He also had not been well socialized because he was living in a kennel, and only being taken out for training with one person, so he had to learn how to interact with dogs, cats, kids, people. He still struggles with socializing.

4. Yes golden retrievers are wonderful companions and always appreciate a good hike, a swim or a camping trip. They just want to be with you. I would not recommend going for runs (like on pavement) with a golden...the repetitive pounding on hard ground isn't good for their joints. Walking is great, but most goldens I know would rather walk through the woods or on a trail than walk on the sidewalk every day.

5. I did not expect how easy our first puppy was. We were prepared for the worst, and trust me NOT all people's experiences were like mine lol...my next puppy will probably be a terror because I got lucky this time around. But Denver was really easy to potty train and get into a routine. I think he pooped in the house a grand total of 4 times between 8 weeks and 5 months when he was reliably potty trained. He was never overly mouthy (we would "yelp" like a puppy and say "ow! or ouch!" if he bit too hard) so he had a gentle mouth early on. He was also a very chill puppy, and our friends would remark about how calm he was BUT that was largely due to the fact that we exercised him off leash every single day and most days multiple times a day. We live across from a huge soccer complex connected to walking trails and every day we would let him off leash to run around, sniff, fetch, walk, hike up hills etc. We also did two separate obedience classes when he was young and taught him at home too. I think we lived by the saying "a tired puppy is a good puppy".

BTW it would be quicker for you to send us pedigree information on sire and dam of both litters, and we can look @ the and tell you which breeder is a better bet taking all of those things into consideration^

THANK YOU! These were such great answers. Appreciate the time you took to reply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1. Golden retrievers as a breed are prone to several health issues. Most commonly hip & elbow dysplasia, eye problems, heart problems, sometimes skin problems. Ethical reputable breeders screen breeding stock for all of these issues and should have OFA health clearances as proof that they were tested. If they don't have clearances I would move on.
2. Yes goldens are a breed that are prone to hip (and elbow) dysplasia. Back problems? I'm thinking not so much. Again, good breeders will get their dogs hips and elbows checked by OFA after the dog turns two years old to make sure they have proper joint conformation. Good breeders will not breed dogs who fail clearances. Average age right now I believe 10-12. That is with a proper, diet, exercise and routine wellness care.
3. Training a puppy is VALUABLE bonding time for you and your dog. Goldens want to please and are easy to train provided you enroll them in a good obedience program (not Petco or Petsmart type) with an actual obedience trainer. The cost of enrolling a few training classes with your puppy in the first year of his/her life is remarkably cheaper than buying a "fully trained" older puppy. Even those puppies will need consistent follow through and will test the limits with a new family. Plus, back to the bonding aspect, training is a fun way to get the whole family involved with the training and the dog. You want the dog to listen and respect each family member.

I have friends who purchases a "fully trained" golden retriever. He had never lived in a house before (only a kennel) so when he came home he needed to be retrained to use the bathroom outside. He also had not been well socialized because he was living in a kennel, and only being taken out for training with one person, so he had to learn how to interact with dogs, cats, kids, people. He still struggles with socializing.

4. Yes golden retrievers are wonderful companions and always appreciate a good hike, a swim or a camping trip. They just want to be with you. I would not recommend going for runs (like on pavement) with a golden...the repetitive pounding on hard ground isn't good for their joints. Walking is great, but most goldens I know would rather walk through the woods or on a trail than walk on the sidewalk every day.

5. I did not expect how easy our first puppy was. We were prepared for the worst, and trust me NOT all people's experiences were like mine lol...my next puppy will probably be a terror because I got lucky this time around. But Denver was really easy to potty train and get into a routine. I think he pooped in the house a grand total of 4 times between 8 weeks and 5 months when he was reliably potty trained. He was never overly mouthy (we would "yelp" like a puppy and say "ow! or ouch!" if he bit too hard) so he had a gentle mouth early on. He was also a very chill puppy, and our friends would remark about how calm he was BUT that was largely due to the fact that we exercised him off leash every single day and most days multiple times a day. We live across from a huge soccer complex connected to walking trails and every day we would let him off leash to run around, sniff, fetch, walk, hike up hills etc. We also did two separate obedience classes when he was young and taught him at home too. I think we lived by the saying "a tired puppy is a good puppy".

BTW it would be quicker for you to send us pedigree information on sire and dam of both litters, and we can look @ the and tell you which breeder is a better bet taking all of those things into consideration^

THANK YOU! These were such great answers. Appreciate the time you took to reply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm going to preface this with saying we just bought our first GR a couple months ago :)

1. OFA health tests: hip, elbows, cardiac via echo, and eyes yearly. I also like to see genetic tests. The dogs should have a file with the OFA that you can search online with their registration number. Keep an eye out for testing going back generations

2. Irresponsible breeding has led to joint issues in a large breed dog. Definitely look for tested parents and make sure to find information on preventing hip dysplasia, there are a lot of sources. And GRs are notorious for cancer. I'm not sure about seizures. Most GRs live to be around 10 years old, but I have no personal experience, other people could answer better.

3. We paid 3000 for our 8 week old puppy. From what I understand, that is a reasonable price for a puppy from fully health tested and shown parents. I've seen in other breeds where trained dogs can sell for anywhere from 5k - 80k. It depends on what you're looking for. I personally do not know if I would want a trained dog.

4. They are great hiking companions. You can't do rigorous activity young to protect hips, but adult dogs make wonderful hiking companions. It's one of the reasons we chose this breed :)

5. I did not expect how mouthy our baby is! I wouldn't change a thing but it was definitely a learning curve for me. He's since grown out of biting us, but it was definitely an experience.
Appreciate these replies too. Thank you! How long did the mouthy phase last? Is it just nibbling and gnawing? Or actual lite/medium bites? Do they do that to furniture?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,218 Posts
Appreciate these replies too. Thank you! How long did the mouthy phase last? Is it just nibbling and gnawing? Or actual lite/medium bites? Do they do that to furniture?
I've owned quite a few dogs from puppies and I was surprised at how hard the biting was. Our puppy is more independent and strong willed, but there are a lot of posts on this place from new GR owners with hard biting puppies :) The biting phase lasted until he was about 16 weeks old and his adult teeth started coming in. Sometimes it was hard, sometimes it was soft, but it was very difficult. There were a few times it got to be too much for my girlfriend and she would cry out of frustration.

He doesn't chew furniture thankfully, but I know quite a few dogs will.

I would definitely say that his mouthiness was something I wish I known about prior. I would've been able to set the whole family up for success earlier :)

EDIT: I will add that he was EASY to potty train. The easiest dog I've ever had to potty train. He stopped having accidents within the house in 4 days and within 3 weeks was going to the door to tell us he had to go out. A combination of crate training and proper potty training worked wonders.
 

·
Puddles
Joined
·
4,020 Posts
Appreciate these replies too. Thank you! How long did the mouthy phase last? Is it just nibbling and gnawing? Or actual lite/medium bites? Do they do that to furniture?
Much of this depends on the puppy. Just like people, each one is going to be different. Read up on the landshark and be prepared on how to handle it. My 1st golden puppy (now 3) was a beast! But I have trained for decades and got through it because I knew how to redirect and train through it. If you start training early most of this stops when the adult teeth come through. But my last puppy (now 16 months) never even nibbled. One quick closure of the snout and a "no bite" was all it took. So be prepared for the worse and hope for the best. If you think about the life of the dog... 10 to 12 yrs, what's a few months of growing pains? But if you have never taken an obedience class with any of your dogs, plan on doing this. It's so important to learn how to become a team with your golden and getting support from a class is the way to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Much of this depends on the puppy. Just like people, each one is going to be different. Read up on the landshark and be prepared on how to handle it. My 1st golden puppy (now 3) was a beast! But I have trained for decades and got through it because I knew how to redirect and train through it. If you start training early most of this stops when the adult teeth come through. But my last puppy (now 16 months) never even nibbled. One quick closure of the snout and a "no bite" was all it took. So be prepared for the worse and hope for the best. If you think about the life of the dog... 10 to 12 yrs, what's a few months of growing pains? But if you have never taken an obedience class with any of your dogs, plan on doing this. It's so important to learn how to become a team with your golden and getting support from a class is the way to do it.
Al great insight and ideas. Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
You're welcome! I'm glad you found this forum.

Another thing - for us potty training was easy (I think) because we brought Denver home last November, during a bitter cold stretch, and so he learned quickly that pee & poop outside = get back into the warm house! If course that meant we were bundling ourselves up every 30-40 minutes but he got the hang of is remarkable quickly! When the snow melted we had to show him that it was ok to pee on the grass too! LOL.. he would literally go and find a small patch of snow to go potty on. It was so cute. The puppy phase goes by so fast, some days I wish I could go back. I would not have traded that time with him for anything. Here he is last Christmas :)
868387
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,587 Posts
I'll refine a little what everyone else said so well.
On the OFA piece- you want to see a heart clearance done by a cardiologist. The number will either start w ACA- or end with C-VPI, C-PI or C-NOPI (the PI part is permanent ID, either verified not verified or no permanent ID). A clearance that ends w P-anything is not EVER sufficient for a Golden because we do have heart problems and a practitioner is not skilled enough to do heart clearances on Goldens. Some breeders will say OFA takes them they are ok.. this is only partly true. OFA does take them because most breeds a P clearance is fine. But they are not OK for a Golden.
On the hips and elbows- if you look at the OFA page (and someone here will do this for you if you supply sire and dam reg numbers or names) and see a hip number and not an elbow or V/v the missing one you could lay money on being failed unless it was done before 2001 or so. If you don't see a number but see a rating, that's a preliminary and again, not enough and not a final clearance. Some breeders lie about this.
On eyes- if you see the exam form and not the number on OFA, it should say normal/normal on the right side. If it doesn't say that, there is a condition that needs OFA or a very experienced OFA breeder to tell you what the condition will come back as, a breeder's option or a fail. Breeders option conditions- you don't want to see them doubled up on imo.

Training- by the breeder, crate training for instance- I do this for puppy people for pay, and do a good job of it. If the breeder is just going to pup out in a pen, that's not a good job so I think that depends on what you are expecting in the end. So you know costs- I charge $150 a week or $25 a day w new puppies. If they are charging you for some 'university' degree, that' s usually a sign of a not so good breeder. There is a limited amount of skills that can be achieved at each benchmark, and I never promise more than I will keep puppy from pottying in crate the first month but I do do much more than that, it just isn't definable across ALL puppies to promise more. Usually in first month you can get a reliable sit/down/stay 30 seconds. Plus crate training.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
22,737 Posts
1. Medical: What is the most important thing I need to know about GR puppy when purchasing medical wise? What must the breeder give me and whats important to look for?

I would hope that they bred for health (full clearances on both parents). I would also hope that the pups are somewhere kept clean and safe with the breeder preventing exposure to diseases. I would expect the breeder to do the first vaccination 1-1.5 weeks prior to pups going home. I would also expect the breeder to worm pups if necessary.

Beyond that, you should hopefully choose a breeder who would be supportive if anything happens - particularly as these are living creatures. There's no guarantee that a pup will not develop hip or elbow dysplasia, or young cancer, or some other condition which might mildly effect their quality of life or cause a loss.

I would also talk to the breeder about "OTHER" things - like allergies, temperament, gut issues.... <= There's no guarantee a breeder wouldn't lie through their teeth. But I've found breeders that I've spoken with to be honest about what they breed - to a certain extent. Depends on how you ask.


2. Illness: Are GR generally prone to hip/back problems and seizures more than most dogs? What age to GR generally live to?

They are a large breed, so YES they are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia.

Seizures - I can think of a number of breeds who are more prone, however I do find it disturbing that there is a higher (though still rare) percentage of dogs having seizures - generally related to SOMETHING ELSE (disease, exposure to a toxin, cancer, etc).


3. Training: There is a costly option to purchase a 1 year old well-trained puppy from a breeder. It's expensive!!!!! Does anyone have insight into relationship with a GR that did not grow up with you for the 1st year, but highly trained?

Ummm.... hmm. NO. I usually find the best part about raising a golden from puppy hood is creating the dog you love to own and live with.

W/R to cost of training - depends on where you live, but roughly speaking obedience classes would cost you $150 per session. So 3 sessions would cost you about $500 per year. Ideally, you should keep your dog in classes for 2 years - which would cost about $1000. This is for socialization, teaching a dog to behave in public and around people and dogs, and if just doing 1 year of classes at most places (puppy classes, basic obedience, CGC level obedience) - it will give you a well-behaved dog who you can take anywhere - assuming you keep up the training and don't let stuff slide.

The issue I have with buying a "fully trained dog" at 12 months is I have NO IDEA what that even means if you are not sending your dog to a very skilled trainer. I know people who can accomplish a LOT in just 6 months with a dog. And 12 months is added gravy (LOL). But with many of these so-called training programs, they really are not of that caliber. They basically are charging you for boarding while they raise your dog for you. Which you miss out on quality time raising a pup that way. Miss out on all the EASY stuff and get a dog back at a size and age when they are into everything else but their owners.

4. Activity: Are GRs good dogs for camping and going on hikes? Due to hip and back issues is this not the best breed? I really would like a hiking/walking/running companion.

Unless hips or elbows are SEVERE, should not affect the activity levels of a normal healthy golden retriever. This includes them being game for camping and hiking with their peeps.

5. Unknown: What is one thing about your GR that you did not expect? One thing you wished you knew before purchasing?

Going back to the first golden, I would still have gotten him because that dog taught us more than any of the dogs that followed. So what I'd say to you is don't expect the easy and perfect. The more dogs you own, love, and lose in your life - the easier it gets and more likely you can make or show how easy it can be. Do your best.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top